Friday, 24 September 2010

Pietton to An-Nahar: "Not End of the World" if STL Indicts Hezbollah Members

23/09/2010 French Ambassador to Lebanon said that his country wanted to reassure Hezbollah that “it would not be the end of the world” if the party members were indicted by the Special Tribunal for Lebanon (STL).

In an interview with An-Nahar newspaper published on Thursday Denis Pietton said that Hezbollah "will not be accused (of the 2005 assassination of former Prime Minister Rafiq Hariri) as a party, should Hezbollah members be indicted."

Pietton said that France "doesn't have any intention to put down Hezbollah on its blacklist and assured that his country "seeks to deal with the party", and that Hezbollah "is a political party in Lebanon."

For his part the Loyalty to Resistance bloc MP Nawaf al-Mousawi responded to Pietton's declaration, saying: "We have no worries about what we have been doing."

Speaking to Al-Manar Website, Mousawi said that "those who need to be reassured are those who, until today, don't realize the damage that the indictment will cause to Lebanon and the region."

"Those who care for Lebanon, ought to be concerned about ways to prevent the indictment that is expected to be issued in December."

"Hezbollah is coming under a well organized campaign aimed at crushing it for being a resistance against Israel. This campaign has taken many forms, and indictment is one of them," the MP added.

On the other hand the French ambassador expressed his country's concerns over the upcoming visit of the Iranian president to Lebanon in October.

“There are fears of what [President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad’s] stances might raise, especially when he visits South Lebanon,” the French ambassador said, voicing concerns that the Iranian president might make a tense speech against Israel near the Fatima Gate along the border.

“[We] cannot predict Israel’s reaction to Ahmadinejad’s visit, or if the visit could cause frustration [in South Lebanon], where UNIFIL forces are operating,” he added.

The Iranian president will visit South Lebanon in mid-October to inaugurate a garden at the Fatima Gate near the borders with occupied Palestine.

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